Pickens' Perspective: Ludlowe girls tennis poised for success in 2012, primed for big success in the future
Published 2:58 pm, Thursday, May 3, 2012
"Tennis in Fairfield is alive and well."
And Ludlowe appears to be taking its program to another level.
The Falcons are putting up numbers the old Fairfield High School used to. Ludlowe is 10-1, with only a blemish against undefeated Greenwich keeping it from perfection.
But it's not the victories over Staples, Darien and Warde that separate the 2012 Falcons from years past. It's the domination with which Ludlowe's taking these wins.
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The Falcons blasted Staples -- a team they had lost to six straight times dating back to the 2007 FCIAC tournament-- 5-2 on April 9.
Ludlowe rolled Wednesday over its crosstown rival, 7-0. In terms of elapsed time, Ludlowe vs. Warde girls tennis matches typically rival Stanley Cup playoff overtime games.
Yet, in just 90 minutes, six matches were over, and Ludlowe had clinched its 10th win in dominant fashion. Each of the seven matches were completed in straight sets, including No. 3 doubles' Molly Boyd and Colleen Fitzpatrick, who finished their 6-0, 6-0 win in less than an hour.
"We want to get first sets and we want to finish matches in two sets," Ludlowe coach John Reisert said. "They did that very well today."
The Falcons currently roll out four singles players who aren't allowed into `R' rated movies. Two of them-- No. 1 Lindsey Evans and No. 3 Cami Adajian-- barely can get into PG-13 films without a parent.
Adajian and Evans are freshmen, but have big games, and low USTA U14 rankings. They're becoming seasoned against some of the best players in the state who are three years older. Just wait until they become the more experienced players with better mental and physical games.
It's almost scary to think about.
"Their ages are almost not relevant," Reisert said. "They're becoming a seasoned team."
Plus, everyone you ask at Ludlowe would say the competition is so fierce that several junior varsity players could sub in to the big squad and the Falcons wouldn't miss a beat. So when Ludlowe's four seniors do depart after this season, Reisert has oodles of options.
"The program is very healthy right now," Reisert said. "The future looks strong absolutely ... We are stacked with very good tennis players."
I know Ludlowe still has to play perpetual state champion New Canaan -- the Rams have won eight straight state crowns -- and has a showdown scheduled with Class L's top-seed currently, Newtown, on Friday.
But the point is, Reisert is one of the top coaches in the state and it's not about this year. Ludlowe's primed to reload for years to come. This year is almost gravy.
But more impressively, after Greenwich, the FCIAC was wide-open for teams this year. Many college players graduated in 2011, leaving a gap of inexperienced varsity players in a league that typically has the best. Ludlowe lost seven seniors and the program could have completely gone the other way.
And yet, the Falcons are now tied atop the East standings with the Rams and the clubs will meet for the division crown Tuesday.
If Ludlowe can win that, it'll prove how alive and well tennis is on the Ludlowe side of town.